BALDWIN NDABA

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THE ANC is considering limiting the use of tenders in efforts to deliver services.

Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said this at a media briefing at Luthuli House in Joburg yesterday, which was called to make public the outcomes of the ANC’s three-day lekgotla.

He said: “The state must be bolder on building capacity to undertake activities and services within the public sector. The state should procure directly from the manufacturers and minimise dependence on middlemen. Reference pricing and better value for money must be investigated and implemented.”

Mantashe said the government did not get its value for money for some of the tenders issued to service providers. “State construction capacity needs to be developed urgently for (it) to undertake some of the projects and have the capacity to monitor and ensure quality assurance in those projects that are outsourced.

“Public-public and public-private partnerships are crucial for the successful implementation of the infrastructure plan.

“We issue a tender for a meal-a-day at schools. What happens is that the quality of the meal is compromised.

“We advertised for transport tenders to ferry pupils to school, but we do not get reliable transport. We do not want to prop up businesses due to these tendering processes. These tenders are opportunities for corruption,” he said.

Mantashe also announced the imminent implementation of the youth subsidy grant.

“Efforts to increase youth employment must be increased, develop a comprehensive youth employment accord, define the role of both the state and the private sector and invest more on skills,” he said.

A recipient would cease to receive an employment grant if he or she secured a permanent job. “The employment of youth in public programmes must be (a priority),”

he added.

Mantashe also reiterated that nationalisation was not an option for the party, saying its national executive committee had agreed that a regulatory approval system must be simplified and a strategic minerals plan must be finalised by September.

He said the NEC had expressed support for the establishment of a Brics bank, with the government encouraged to offer to host the bank.

Brics is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa economic bloc.

“On health, a lot of progress was registered.

“The problem of a skills mismatch is sorted in the health institutions at all levels…

(An) audit on six core standards on quality standards has been completed; facility improvement teams were established and inspectors are being trained.”

He also said there was progress on the implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme, with “pilot sites being an indication of being cautious but determined”.

Mantashe also announced the opening of several teacher-training colleges next year and in 2014.

“The work done on both nursing and agricultural colleges was also encouraged,” he said.

He said two universities, in Kimberley and Mbombela, would open in 2014.

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